Chuka Umunna quite rightly got slated for making “disgraceful” comments BBC Politics Live on 18 November. Because as new figures showed child poverty and foodbank use have hit horrific highs, he seemed to argue that austerity was over.
“Beyond austerity” – wtaf?!
Liberal Democrat candidate Umunna claimed:
We’re beyond austerity now.
Get the news that really mattersSign me up
Thankfully, economist Grace Blakeley took Umunna down, saying:
We are so not beyond austerity. That is a disgraceful thing to say.
“We are so beyond austerity now” – Lib Dem Chuka Umunna
“We are so not beyond austerity now, that’s a disgraceful thing to say” – Economist Grace Blakeley
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) November 18, 2019
As Umunna made his controversial comments, exclusive research from the Mirror revealed the tragic reality of austerity. Because after nearly ten years of Conservative-led (and Lib-Dem-enabled) rule, “foodbank demand has rocketed by 3,772%”. In 2009/10, the largest “foodbank network had 57 outlets”, providing 40,898 aid packages, 13,959 of these to children. But by March 2019, the same network had 425 foodbanks. That’s a 646% increase. And in 2018, it gave away 1,583,668 food parcels – about 577,618 of these to children.
And that’s not all.
In 2018, “child poverty in working families rose” 38%. So 2.9 million children from such families now live in poverty. That’s 800,000 more children since 2010. This is in homes where at least one parent works. According to the Trades Union Congress, this affects “one in four children”. Universal Credit is largely to blame for these shocking statistics.
In response, Jeremy Corbyn told the Mirror:
These shocking figures should shame the Conservatives. Their policies have pushed people into destitution. It is a national scandal that so many families can’t afford food.
With the above statistics in mind, many people unsurprisingly tore into Umunna:
2.9 million children living in poverty
1000s of people living on our streets
— RedSarah#VoteLabour (@redsarah99) November 18, 2019
— Labour Press Team (@labourpress) November 18, 2019
Quite rightly @graceblakeley pulled Chuka 'flip-flop' Umunna on his claim "we're beyond austerity" as "disgraceful".
— Steve Topple (@MrTopple) November 18, 2019
Meanwhile, there are many other “horrific consequences of austerity”:
The horrific consequences of austerity. Rough sleeping has increased and people are dying of hypothermia. A decade ago rough sleeping had been nearly eradicated. These deaths can be prevented, if the Government had the will to. It should be our priority.https://t.co/sILeJA6HvS
— Paul Sweeney (@PaulJSweeney) November 18, 2019
And they said the Ken Loach film “I Danielle Blake” didn’t represent real life.
Real tears for a real man killed by this heartless government. 😢😢
Man dies at Llanelli Job Centre while claiming Jobseeker's Allowance. https://t.co/HsIk8X6Uid
— Corbyn Supporters 50+ #VoteLabour (@corbyn50plus) November 18, 2019
At this crucial moment for our National Health Service, here's why we're asking, if you want to protect the NHS, then please think again if you've planning on voting Conservative. #GE2019 #VoteNHS pic.twitter.com/7pbHKAo3le
— Keep Our NHS Public (@keepnhspublic) November 17, 2019
Universal Credit, alongside a lack of social housing, soaring private rents, zero-hours jobs, and over nine years of Conservative-led austerity created a perfect storm that’s destroyed lives. And let’s not forget, Umunna’s latest party enabled that.
So if anyone needed any reason not to vote Lib Dem in this election, just listen to Umunna’s utterly “disgraceful” lie.
Featured image via screengrab/YouTube
Since you're here ...
We know you don't need a lecture. You wouldn't be here if you didn't care.
Now, more than ever, we need your help to challenge the rightwing press and hold power to account. Please help us survive and thrive.